Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I read a comment earlier this month that recapped an informational session from the 2010 USEA National Convention. One of the professionals (I believe it was Karen O'Connor...but don't hold me to that) had suggested that incorporating elevated ground poles -- or even cavaletti -- between efforts in a jumping grid would be even more helpful than just the poles flat on the ground. I need poles between jumps in a grid to keep Eddie "bunched" or else he will use the momentum of the gymnastic to get longer and more strung-out to each element and eventually just explode wildly over everything....making it impossible for me to ride correctly or to even stay in the saddle. The ground poles make him think about using his body BETWEEN the fences and to set himself up accurately before the next jump. If he doesn't have to think, he just barrels. NOT FUN.

Libby Henderson riding Buzz in a Jonathan Holling eventing clinic

I like this photo of Libby riding a gymnastic that Jon has set up for her and her horse. If there were a little block of wood under the end of each of those ground poles (to give them a tiny bit of height) then I think that's exactly what Karen was suggesting. I can visualize that here via the photo, so I think that next time I start working through some grids, I'm going to add height to my ground poles and see how that goes! 

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